tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC August 11, 2011 6:00am-7:00am PDT
baby? >> look at this. >> interesting. >> that's good. that is a real man. do i drop the baby or -- >> it is "morning joe". we'll see you back here tomorrow. stick around for chuck todd from iowa at java joe's. >> all right. piercing through the hawkeye state, the republican candidates out in force for the 2012 campaign coming to a head. the next 48 hours could radically change the shape of the race and there are two candidates not on the ames straw poll ballot casting large shadows. before the poll, the debate. republicans face off for the third time tonight. last time the president was the target. this time, the candidates turn fire on each other. and how many times will rick perry get mentioned?
all this as america watches the dow plunge over 500 points again. and washington's popularity sinks to new lows. we'll tell you how markets are heading before the opening bell. it is thursday, august 11th, 2011. i'm chuck todd. this is special edition of "the daily rundown". i'm excited. in my adopted home state of iowa, i'm coming to you live from java joe's, the state is the center of the political universe as this weekend. we'll be here today and tomorrow and on saturday, we're bringing you the straw poll results live from ames. let's get right to my first read of the morning. we're in for a whirlwind 48 hours on the campaign trail. the republican candidates have been crisscrossing the state here, making their final pitches before saturday's straw poll. tonight is fight night. eight republicans meet in the third presidential debate of the cycle, ahead of that high stakes event on saturday, the 2012 hopefuls are trying to win over hawkeye state voters.
>> from waterloo, we're very modest means people. i've lived a real life. i didn't go to washington to be a politician. i am not a politician. >> i imagine you're going to see more of me from time to time between now and early january. you're going to have a little event here, some caucuses here, i would like to do darn well in the caucuses. >> there are a few people here from the media tonight. we have a challenge for the romney family. we have five kids in our family and 30 some odd grandkids, we have a baseball bat and a plastic ball, and we challenge them on the lawn at ames on saturday to a baseball game. >> but it is the two unannounced candidates who are casting their shadows over the hawkeye state today. with most of the political world here in iowa, maybe sarah palin is back. she released this video announcing the return of her bus tour, which arrived here today. it will include a stop at the
iowa state fair. and then there is texas governor rick perry. he makes his debut on sunday at a fund-raiser in waterloo, which means he has to file with the fcc. waterloo, of course, michele bachmann's birth place. and mitt romney sounded nonchalant about the soon to be candidate who has the sharpest contrast with the front-runner. >> i think i'm the right guy tonight republican nominee for president. in part because i spent 25 years in the private sector. and i know how the economy works. i'll get a full view, i'm sure, of all the successes of governor perry. he's a fine man and fine governor. and the record of texas, i think, speaks for itself. >> romney said 25 years of private sector experience for a reason. rick perry has been in elected office for 26 consecutive years. expect to hear more about that from mitt romney. perry says he's all in for a
presidential run and he's testing out some speech lines. here he was yesterday in san antonio. >> this is one of our darkest ho hours. i'll tell you this west texas optimist sees our brightest hour as just around the corner. i believe in this country because i believe in americans. >> you know, it says something about mitt romney's fragile hold as front-runner that every time it seems this race is about to finally take off, finally we know what the state of the race is going to be, it is noncandidates or new candidates that seem to be everywhere, everyone is looking, looking for something else. at some point, it is as if they're saying to romney, we still want to date before we settle on you. the next three days will be crucial for the minnesota republicans who essentially camped out in iowa. tim pawlenty and michele bachmann.
can bachmann stick to her script? they have canceled her single event for today, a backyard chat this morning will be rescheduled. and tim pawlenty damaged the last time the candidates met on stage, said he's no wimp and he's prepared to go on offense. >> we want the republicans to know you can put the hammer down like, for example, michele bachmann can. >> everybody has different styles and leaders have more than one gear. i always tell people, you can listen to the rhetoric like we did with barack obama in last campaign or look to see what people's results are. >> five story lines to watch tonight. you're going to see how many of them go after mitt romney. it is jon huntsman's debate debut. what will be the contract between bachmann and pawlenty? will they go after each other? we'll tell you what they think about the straw poll. then there is the other candidates. rick santorum and newt gingrich,
a lot thought they would be doing better at this time. republican candidates will try to spin straw in the political gold this weekend, hoping that strong showing can fuel their campaign. joining me now, the governor of the great state of iowa, terry branstead, whose job is to convince every republican running they need to begin their campaign here, which i know you've been a chief cheerleader. >> absolutely. it is happening. >> even the noncandidates are showing up here. we're excited about that. it is a wide open race, you know. last time it was romney that won the straw poll. and then it was huckabee that won the iowa caucuses. neither one of them are competing this time in the straw poll. so it is a wide open race. and it should be real interesting. >> what do you say to the criticism that happens and republican strategies who participate in this. advise campaigns to spend a lot of money and say it is a shakedown. >> first of all, it is a great
fund-raiser for the republican party of iowa. it builds enthusiasm, gets interest. it is a lot of fun. it is next to the iowa state fair, it is the biggest show going on right now. for iowans, it is probably -- the fair is bigger, but for a lot of other people, maybe the straw poll is a bigger deal. >> this thing has gotten bigger over time. bob dole and phil gramm have the infamous tie and new rules put into -- only iowans can participate. then 99, steve forbes came in and george w. bush and they had an arms race. spent millions. and over 20,000 people showed up. how many people do you think will show up to the straw poll? >> i think between 10,000 and 20,000 will participate. >> that's 20% of maybe the entire turnout for the caucuses. >> exactly. that would be the second largest turnout in history if it were, say, over 12,000. i think that could happen, even though they're not spending as much money, and you don't have romney and you don't have governor perry on the ballot.
so despite that, i think there is a lot of interest. and i think people are really upset about what's going on in this country. the huge debt that we have and the fact that we have over 9% unemployment. iowans don't like debt. they elected me as governor. i defeated an incumbent who put the state deep in debt. and iowans want us to get our fiscal house in order. we have done that at the state level. the federal government needs to do that. we need to focus on jobs. that's why i think you hear republicans focusing on what they have done to reduce taxes and make america more competitive. right now i'm calling on businesses that are saying, hey, it is cheaper to go to canada than america. when i was governor before, the canadian dollar was weak and canada's taxes were too high. now they cut their corporate income tax and canada is more competitive than america. that's not right. we got to change that. >> do you think the president should have called congress back? do you think they should have been working this month?
>> i don't think they should have quit. i think they should have stayed there, they should have done something much more significant. they need to address the entitlement programs. that's what's going to -- >> would you have been okay with a grand bargain, per se, that might have included some changes in the tax code that would have resulted in some people paying more taxes? >> i think it has to include reforming the enentitlement programs because medicaid, medicare, the new obama health care, they're not affordable, not sustainable. those things have to be addressed. you could reform the taxes and the way you do taxes is reduce the rates and eliminate loopholes so that you make america more competitive, like ronald reagan did. >> you're not taking -- you're not going tone doris anybo ing . you made it clear you think -- indicating you have a preference for governors. this is what you said about michele bachmann, the history of our country shows governors have been the most succe exciting candidate, brings a lot of enthusiasm and i think she helps
to rally the republican base. i certainly have a lot of respect for her, but she doesn't have the executive experience that governors have. >> but she's a tax attorney and she understands finance. and i think the benefit -- >> you believe she's qualified to be president? >> ron paul and bachmann both with america having -- we have a financial meltdown going on. they're spending every dollar, spending in washington 40 cents being borrowed, american people know that's not sustainable, not affordable, and i think that both her and ron paul have really struck a real chord with the people of iowa saying we have got to get back to sound finances and honest budgeting and quit spending money we don't have. >> you believe a governor would be a stronger contrast to president obama? >> i'm a fifth term governor. i believe that the experience of being the chief executive at the state level is a good background to be president. you look at american history, i think some of our best presidents were from the ranks of the governors and ronald
reagan, my favorite certainly, was governor of california, two terms. >> senator grassley indicated that he might endorse when the time comes. and he was concerned, he doesn't want the winner of the iowa caucuses to be seen as somebody who is ideological, part of a base and can't get nominated, he would like to see the iowa caucus winner be somebody who can be nominated. is that your feeling as well? >> remember, george w. bush came here, won the straw poll, won the -- >> only straw poll winner to get that far. >> he won the straw poll, won the caucuses and got elected president twice. so, yes, remember the iowa caucuses win in the field. if you're not in the top three here, your chances of getting elected aren't very good. i think after iowa it will be basically whoever beats expectations here, wins the iowa caucuses versus romney. >> this straw poll have a winner. >> i think it will.
you have a lot of candidates participating. and some that might get in after the straw poll, but i think it will win the field somewhat. >> governor branstad, thank you for hosting all of us here. 700 credentialed media. >> thank you. >> governor, thanks for coming. up next, chairman of the iowa republican party, he's grabbing in coffee. he'll be pulling up a chair to tell us what he thinks of the 2012 field and how he plans to keep iowa ahead of the other states that want to lead. we shall see. and what he thinks about candidates who aren't participating in the straw poll on saturday and why that's a big disadvantage. first, a look ahead to the president's schedule. the president found another battery factory he hasn't been to, so he's going to michigan.
we are back live here at java joe's. there it is. look at that. doing their own roasting right here. take that, starbucks. matt strong will be in the middle of saturday's events. the head shakedown artist. i'm kidding, i'm kidding. i'm teasing. play the iowa song, you're a hawkeye hawkeye. address this concern, it is such an extensive thing and none of this counts. >> any campaign needs to make decisions whether buying extensive tv ads in the boston
media market to reach new hampshire primary voters, whether in campaign dollars to organize in advance of the february caucuses. i am an optimist. that's one of the true tests of the straw poll is people that don't understand how iowa works, it isn't a primary where you show up and vote, take 15 minutes. you need people organizing in 1800 precincts come february. if you know who the leaders are, come august, it is great for the campaigns. >> let's go through the rules a little bit. everybody gets to address the audience in the hilton coliseum. people bid for different spots in the -- iowa state basketball plays. what are some rules people should be paying attention to as they watch this? >> we lease the voting machines from the county auditor. it is an optical scan, fill in the bubble or write in. >> you can write in. >> the first time we gave a write in option. there is potential candidates
coming. give iowans the opportunity. and they can vote from 10:00 to 4:00, so, before, during or after the official program. >> how do you prevent people from voting more than once? >> we have a photo i.d. requirement. we swipe your driver's license. >> you have to be a resident. >> you do have to be a resident. >> do you to register to vote? >> we ask you to register to vote. >> you so to register before you can cast your ballot. >> we make sure for those that aren't from iowa we have a big sign that lets them know what the penalties are for fraudulently registering as an iowa voter. after you cast your vote, we make you dip your index finger in the ink. you'll see people walking around with purple fingers. >> like iraq, no kidding. >> northern iowa purple. we can't forget the panthers. >> you brought up the -- you're an optimist, i'm not spending new year's here, but where are we on the calendar situation.
are you committed that if bill gardener, secretary of state of new hampshire, decides to move the primary up to the third tuesday in january, which is one of the rumors, then what do you do? >> the date may change, but the orbit won't. it will be iowa, new hampshire. >> that's -- >> that is absolute. >> are you -- are you -- this is a case where you're bipartisan here, i know you work together with the democratic party, but are you in consultation with bill gardener, secretary of state as well? >> i was in new hampshire a couple of weeks ago. i sat down with secretary of state gardener who has probably forgotten more about primary and politics than i will ever learn and iowa and new hampshire are attached at the hip and we'll do what is necessary to protect our first in the nation status. >> what is the national boss, your national boss say about this? >> we had a chance to talk with chairman priebus, will be here for the debate tonight, sends a strong signal of support. i think ranks have been
steadfast in standing up to the rules. >> if you move in front of february, don't you risk losing half your delegates? >> iowa doesn't buy their delegates at the -- >> technically you don't. >> later in the summer. >> so you feel like you have a way around this rule? >> i think we're also working through, there was a proposal by the committee charged with setting the dates to put additional penalties on those dates that would force any of the four carve out states to go earlier. michigan, florida and arizona seem to be the problems on the debate calendar now. we're working through it. and chairman priebus has done a great job working with other states to move them back. i'm cautiously optimistic. >> bigger picture, your job isn't just to see the caucuses through. your job is to do something the republicans haven't done since 1984, that is see iowa go -- twice, why is it, though, that it is being harder for republicans to move iowa in the midwest versus some of these other states? >> i think 2000 and 2004 is a
good example. al gore won by 2,000 votes and george bush in 2004 by 10,000. going into the general next year, there is two data points that show how competitive iowa will be. one is, since barack obama was elected president, iowa democrats have lost 10% of their registered voters in this state and iowa republicans have increased. we have had 29 straight months of republican republican stragi gains. i think we can whittle the rest of it down to near parody with the caucus process. i think today i saw numbers out that 61% of the independent voters in iowa disapprove of the president's handling of the economy. >> what is your base line turnout goal for the caucuss? >> i would be disappointed if we didn't increase off the 115,000 that we had january of 2008. and given the enthusiasm we have seen in the republican party over the last two and a half years, the fact that there is no
attention and energy on the democrat side, i think we have an opportunity to dramatically increase that by anywhere from 10% to 20%. >> democrats almost doubled. when all of this enthusiasm showed up, could you envision that or is that a little bit of a reach? >> i hope so. it depends. it is a fluid race. at the end of the day, one thing i hope we can take a lesson from the democrats in '08, they were able to use that to pivot immediately into a general election turnout campaign. i'm hoping we'll be able to do the same thing here in iowa and put the six electoral votes in the republican nominee's back pocket. >> matt strong, chairman of the iowa republican party, we'll see you a lot over the next 48 hours. it will be an interesting -- can't wait to get to ames. up next, high anxiety, serious business on wall street and main street. another terrible day for the dow. is there any way to stop the slide? we'll get a check on the markets before the opening bell. first, today's trivia question, which, if you to were listening carefully to a previous interview, you know the answer. since 1979, how many times has
the winner of the ames straw poll gone on to win the republican nomination for president? tweet me. first correct answer will get a follow-up thursday from me. . designer molita healy made her first cartoon character when she was 12. then she did the same with hand painted martini glasses. her love my martini collection took off, so she licensed the brand for everything in pajamas to jewelry to towels. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. in small continuous amounts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. new citracal slow release...
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and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan. you'll get this free information kit... and guide to understanding medicare, to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. all right. wall street's opening bell has become a scary sound for investors this week. another -- another steep sell-off yesterday. let's go to becky quick for a market preview. the good news on the job front, i saw the weekly jobless claims, is that going to help? >> the good news that came out was that we only had 395,000 new jobless claims. that ends a 17-week streak where we saw a number above 400,000. 400,000 is key because that's when you start chipping away at
what's been happening with the unemployment rate. but they shrugged it off. we're looking for a higher open this morning, at least up by 75 or 80 points for the dow now. but fear is all over the place. volatility is all over the place. we have seen some wild swings already this morning with the futures. we saw earlier today that the futures were up by about 150 points and looked like they would open down. now it looks like we'll open up by about -- it changes so fast, up by 65 or 70 points. what i can tell you is this is a market driven by rumors and fears. the fears this morning, the rumors were about some european banks. french regulators trying to knock down some things. that's why we have seen things pick up. don't look away for too long. it is all over the place once again today. >> geez. nice to know, rumors and fears. becky quick, cnbc world headquarters. i'll go -- you ride a real roller coaster at the iowa state
fair. thank you very much, becky. still ahead, we'll take you live to the opening bell on wall street. plus, if you aim high, the straw poll is the first major test for the 2012 candidates. look at what the results mean for the real race. [ male announcer ] where'd you get that idea? how'd you learn to do that? what'd you use? every project we finish comes with a story built-in. it's how our rough ideas become "you did that yourself?" so when we can save more on the projects that let us fix, make, and do more... that just makes the stories even better. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now get this vanity and matching mirror for just $99.
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a great addition to my routine. [ female announcer ] one a day women's. and there is the opening bell as it has just rung. it opened up over 100 points, and it has been climbing now up at 123 points. we'll see if it is one of those roller coaster days or if the roller coaster week continues. either way, i have a feeling you shouldn't eat before you watch the markets today. turning back now to the reason why we're here in iowa. the upcoming straw poll, we have
got two iowa experts here to talk about it. this one event predicts some presidential success. we start by answering our trivia question. we asked since 1979, how many times has the winner of the straw poll gone on to win the republican nomination for president? it is twice. if you count 1995. bob dole and phil gramm tied as winners of the straw poll thanks to fi to phil gramm's texas supporters. in 1999, one of the great arms races, george w. bush won that one and the presidency. but not after steve forbes spent 5 million bucks on this thing, which is the only straw poll winner in 30 years to go on to win the white house. so, joining me now from more on the success rate of straw poll winners, the news director of radio iowa, kay anderson and mr. albert hunt. this is your territory, kay. we'll start with you.
should we be here? do you think it is a big deal? should we be going home? are we overplaying and overhyping the straw poll? >> your choice. i will say the straw poll means different things in different years. you mentioned 99 when george w. bush won it, that was bush flexing his muscle and saying i'm the guy here, you can all g. in '87 when pat robertson won this, it meant something different. it meant that the evangelical christian movement, which was then known as the christian coalition, was a force to be reckoned with in the republican party. this time around, it may mean the tea party is a force to be reckoned with, but it will be hard to judge that because there are so many candidates who have tea party supporters. >> i'm not asking this just because you have gray hair. but i was in my first caucus, kay reminded me she was in sixth grade.
>> you come to this and, you know, you have seen straw polls come and go, you've seen caucuses come and go. we all lament, are we overhyping, do we spend too much time on it? they do mean something. >> i think it is a great scam. a delicious scam. the party is making money. they're having fun with it. i would much rather be out here in iowa than stuck in washington, d.c. talking about debt and default now. it is a good thing. we do belong here, charles todd. i don't think it means very much with one small exception. it is pretty good. elizabeth dole was not going to be a nominee. orrin hatch was not going to be a nominee. it spared them a couple of months of wasted effort, i suppose. phil gramm wasn't going to be the nominee either. i think a couple of people will win out. maybe tim pawlenty if he doesn't have a strong showing here. >> with today all of a sudden rick perry and sarah palin
casting shadows over this. how strong of a -- when you see how easily republican activists get distracted by the new candidates, does that tell you that romney is a fragile front runner. >> it is interesting. on paper, he is formidable. he's been through it before. he's attracted -- he's got lots of money, everything. he fits -- there is such reservations. a couple of things. a lot of republicans don't like him. the health care problem is there. his last campaign, even though he finished second, i don't think he helped himself a great deal. it is interesting. he should be a really strong front-runner. he is the front-runner, but not when you call formidable. he's not scaring anybody out. >> is it smart he's skipping the straw poll and he's trying to downplay iowa. yesterday, he said, i'm going to be back. >> he wants to do darn well. >> he wants to come back here and play a little bit, but make it so if he doesn't finish
second or third, it is not a big deal. >> it was a no-win situation for him with the straw poll. if he didn't meet the expectations he set last time around, he would be a damaged front-runner. he finished second here. so if he finishes second again, he'll meet that expectation at least. and he'll say that, you know, the other folks spent so much time here and i finished second. he'll go to new hampshire where he's planted his flag thus far. i think what you mentioned earlier about these folks, perry and palin jetting in here at the last minute, there is a real fluid situation on the ground here in iowa. people are not signing up for candidates like they have in the past. people are making a decision based on what happens in the debate tonight. i talked to a lot of people who intend to attend the straw poll on saturday. and they don't -- in fact, i'll tell you to who one of the people is, the guy who ran the straw poll last time around. he's undecided. he hasn't made up his mind yet. >> i talked to some romney
people last night and they really were quietly welcoming palin and perry getting in there. they say if there is a caucus with michele bachmann, sarah palin, and rick perry, and jon huntsman, boy, does that open the field for mitt romney. that makes it much more attractive to make a major effort here. >> he thinks he could quickly somehow do a john kerry in '04 and win them both. >> if he wins them both, it is game, set, match. >> you think they are going to at end play here because they have nothing to lose by losing. they already set that expectation. but if they steal it -- >> i don't think they made a final decision. if it is only bachmann, it is a harder choice then. you finish third or fourth and get a -- >> will you be surprised? i heard the order -- we don't know the order of finish but the top three, paul, pawlenty, bachmann. >> i think ron paul has a strong organization here. the guy running his organization ran pat robertson's organization in '87. so he knows the lay of the land.
>> are they going -- >> it is a different group of people that they're organizing. if you go to ron paul events, they'll have 200, 400 people in places like debuick and cedar rapids and waterloo. it is impressive. and herm caine. he had 250 people in council bluffs this week. >> it could be -- be careful of debt for candidates on debate night. should be interesting. thank you, both. up next, we'll keep playing the expectation game. the gang is all here for what to expect on saturday. you know that guy. chris and jackie coming up next. can michele bachmann live up to the hype. could this be tim pawpawlenty's last stand. in iowa, they're proud of their fried food. the fried goodness at the state fair made the front page of the local paper on wednesday, we're going to bring you the fried food of the day. today, deep fried mac & cheese. seriously.
direct from the iowa state fair, this picture comes courtesy of our campaign reporter based out of here, alex mo. here it is, folks. lemon and orange slice with it. why you would want fruit after you had this delicious fried cheese and pasta, i don't know. but it looks unbelievable. i can't wait to try it. i'm going to the state fair today. forget the oreos and snickers. fried mac & cheese, i love it. ♪ [ country ] [ man ] ♪ gone, like my last paycheck ♪ gone, gone away ♪ gone, like my landlord's smile ♪ ♪ gone, gone away ♪ my baby's gone away
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name of the game on saturday. pit pinning down the candidates on where they expect to place is not exactly a cakewalk. a little montage on that. >> do you think you'll finish in the top three? >> i think we'll do well. we vice president put a number on it. >> in the top three, that's what i hope to do and i expect to do it. but, you know, we don't know exactly. nobody knows. >> we're not spending any money at ames. i'll get whatever votes i get. >> straw poll, had that experience, learned from it. we'll try to get the nomination this time. >> i've got msnbc contributor chris cillizza, tand jackie cu kucini kucinich. jackie, let me start with you. america's newspaper, you're here. is the debate tonight going to be the front page? is that what everybody will wake up to tomorrow or no? >> that's above my pay grade.
it is what i would like to wake up to tomorrow. i think it is a big deal. i think a lot -- talking to people after being here, a lot of people are undecided. there are a lot of straw poll voters who don't know who they're going to vote for and they'll watch the debate to see how people do. they're talking about the economy. and if the ideas are the ones they want. >> kay anderson said the same thing. there is enthusiasm among republicans to show up to the straw poll. but even though they're not motivated by a candidate yet. >> i kind of -- >> this is going to date me, but it reminds me of 1995 where you had energy, but not behind anyone in particular. it was like, well, i'm not sure. >> very similar situation. romney, yes, but in iowa, maybe not. >> date others. >> if you're a republican, you're happy that there is energy, right. if you're one of the candidates, you're happy there is energy. that could be channeled, they all think, to themselves.
you know, i think to jackie's point, i think these are moments, these are pinch points, these are moments when to the extent people pay attention to this stuff this early on, these are moments they pay attention. two months ago, we were talking about michele bachmann. she's interesting. she does well in the debate. then it is michele bachmann all over the place. >> we noted this. third place, four years ago, sam brownback, he was out of the race within weeks. third place, in '99, elizabeth dole, lamar alexander couldn't crack through. dan quayle was in the worst spot you can have at the straw poll. they had to move the tent, there was like water -- standing water. he was out of the race. those were big names. lamar alexander thought he was the guy that could get it -- three people dropped out within weeks. you expect dropouts after the next few days? >> i think so. i think you're going to see a lot of campaigns. money, you raise money off of this. and with rick perry possibly getting in, you know --
>> what day? >> exactly. that's -- >> tim pawlenty and rick santorum, those are the two guys. they don't want to be seen as gad flies, do they? >> right. there are guys who have something theoretically to lose in the establishment world. newt will -- look, you can live off the land, yes. jackie is right about fund-raising. you can live off the land. you can go to the debates, give speeches, have a spartan snap. that's what newt is doing now. can you be a serious contender for the nomination. lamar alexander, 1999, expectations high, he underperforms them. that's tim pawlenty's problem. if he finishes third behind michele bachmann and ron paul, he can stay in the race. will he stay in the race? >> michele bachmann or mitt romney who is under more fire? >> bachmann. i think bachmann. the person in iowa, they're talking about the straw poll,
most of them are competing for straw poll votes at this point. mitt romney is not in the straw poll. >> remember the caged animal is the -- the cornered animal smoeft dais the most dangerous. >> they need to go at bachmann. romney will get his fair share. i think they need to go at bachmann and knock her down a peg. >> remember who had the most influence in debates was a candidate that was an asterisk in the democratic side, chris dodd. >> absolutely. >> chris cillizza, jackie kucinich, two of the 700 reporters that have gotten credentials for the ames straw poll. fantastic. this sunday on "meet the press," meet the candidates, congresswoman michele bachmann, david gregory's exclusive guest, hours after the straw poll results are announced. a special edition of "meet the press" live from ames, iowa. check your local listings. don't miss it. coming up, carnival rides, fried food on sticks and the butter cow. how the presidential candidates are playing the retail politics game here in iowa.
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inns this is a quintessential iowa state with corn and beans all around us. i of course will be participating at the state fair tomorrow and unlike the last time i was at the state fair, it looks like it's going to be cool and sunny both. >> mitt romney will stand on a soapbox, that's right, an actual soapbox and address the crowd at the state fairgrounds in des moines, iowa this morning. it's a tradition. more than a million people are expected to visit the fair. 100th anniversary of the famed butter cow. there are actually banners on
downtown iowa on light poles honoring the 100th anniversary of the butter corn. at least half of them are running for president, as far as how many people might show up today. robert, you're going to be there, you're going to be interviewing the supposed front-runner. i say supposed, out here he doesn't feel like the front-runner. >> he is on the ballot. >> mitt romney will be standing on the soapbox, so he will be engaged in this race. >> it fits the whole narrative that romney is a flip-flopper, sometimes he's in, sometimes he's out, we don't know exactly where he stands. we don't know if he's going to win the straw poll or not. but the million dollar question is how to iowans feel that he's --
it will be interesting to see if that plays if l -- >> it's funny on this issue of his religion. i remember eight years ago, i had people working for orrin hatch's campaign, yes, orrin hatch ran for president. who said it's a caucus, it's organizing and who are you going to play to be a surprising force. he didn't really make it that far. but it is a growing religion out here in the state of iowa. >> that's true. the romney people that i talk to, they don't like talking -- >> they don't like talking about how they do organize the mormon community. >> that's not really the issue here, my point is, why are we
whispering, he's a public candidate, we should be talking about this. but it is a growing religion out here in iowa. but the question is whether that's going to be enough of a driving force to make him have a respectable showing here in iowa. >> they downplay these straw polls then more quietly they will make more of an effort than you realize. i remember six years ago at the southern republican leadership conference, they basically shocked people and it was actually organizing the mormon people in tennessee, they did the same thing at cpac. >> that's their playbook is to always lower expectations, always say that they're not really engaged but behind the scenes they're very much engaged. >> one thing about romney yesterday in pella, iowa, hope of pella windows.
the first thing mitt romney said is i have had 25 years experience in the private sector. but rick perry has been in office for 26 years. >> he says you know what, i understand the business community, i understand how the economy works, that was a slight dig at perry. i think what romney is doing, he's trying to test out these potential themes against perry. as i said before on your show, if perry becomes a candidate for president, i firmly do believe, a lot of folks on twitter and so forth disagree with me, i think he instantly becomes a front-runner. >> a front runner over romney? >> not financially but politically. >> what are you going to do other than watch romney on the soapbox in iowa today. >> eat a lot of fried butter on a stick.
>> we'll be back here at java joe tomorrow. david axelrod in town, senator chuck grassley, tim pawlenty's campaign manager and a lot more, we'll see if i you asurvived eaa lot of food on a stick. my colleague and pal "andrea mitchell reports," she's coming on saturday and she's coming here tonight and you're going to see her tomorrow here in iowa because she loves food on a stick as well. coming up, chris jansing and company and don't miss andrea at 1:00. see you tomorrow. es nearby. interesting... wow, i'm blown away.
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